TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When Lyndell “Mack” Wilson committed to Alabama on National Signing Day this past February, lining up at fullback and catching touchdown passes from another true freshman, Jalen Hurts, was not a thought he had when he chose the Tide over Georgia.
It happened, though, at the 6:14 mark of the third quarter in Alabama’s 48-0 win over Kent State. Hurts faked the handoff, rolled right and found Wilson in the end zone, who made a tough, juggling catch on a ball thrown a little behind him.
That’s because the pass wasn’t intended for the freshman. It was supposed to go to senior tight end O.J. Howard.
“It was really coming to me, but it’s better that somebody catch it then nobody,” Howard told reporters after the game. “I can’t be too mad about it, but, yeah, it was intended for me though.”
Seeing Wilson line up at fullback wasn’t necessarily anything new this season. He’s been the team’s fullback on several plays when Alabama is on the goal line. Wilson had a key block in the Western Kentucky game for Bo Scarbrough’s touchdown run.
The freshman is finding ways to contribute early and often even if he’s not playing much on defense just yet. But if he continues to make plays, it’s possible fans could see more of the former 5-star prospect from Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala.
“He made a nice catch and I’m happy that he was able to score a touchdown,” Nick Saban told reporters. “I’m also happy he got to play a significant amount on defense as well, which will certainly help his development.”
Redshirt senior linebacker Ryan Anderson, who likely will be a high NFL draft pick, has been at Alabama for five years and hasn’t scored a touchdown yet. Last week against Ole Miss, Anderson strip-sacked Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly near the end zone and defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne scooped up the fumble for a touchdown.
When asked about what it was like seeing how quickly Wilson scored a touchdown early in his Alabama career, Anderson laughed and implied that Payne still hasn’t kept quiet about last week’s score.
“You sound like Da’Ron Payne,” Anderson said. “It was good for (Wilson), man.”
Wilson didn’t say anything about the touchdown when he got back to the sidelines, and that’s the way Anderson probably likes it.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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